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Level: Sunken Castle back home search
Author(s): Master
total rating:7.50 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
eRIC 7 9 8 5
eTux 8 8 9 7
Gerty 3 7 8 6
Jay 9 8 8 8
Jose 7 9 8 9
MichaelP 8 8 9 7
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 8
Phil 7 8 9 9
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Samu 7 7 8 7
Shandroid 7 6 6 6
category averages
(11 reviews)
7.00 7.64 8.09 7.27

Reviewer's comments

"The first time I attempted this level (a few months ago) I must have had a dodgy download or messed up the triggers somewhere in the level, as I couldn't progress very far no matter how hard I tried. Firstly, the game kept freezing on me at the same spot each time and after getting past the glitch with brute force, the first demigod never materialised for me even after numerous reloads, so I gave up on it. After trying it again now I had no problems whatsoever (the presence of two exe files probably explains the problems I had, as I tried now with the patched version) and I was glad to complete this one as it's really quite involving. Aside from the lengthy backtracking phases, everything here keeps your adrenaline going with plenty of challenging trap sequences, acrobatics, enemy fights (not overdone) and timed runs, finishing with a hammergod that can actually be destroyed for once. The texturing is rather austere, but it fits in this case and the atmosphere compounded by the dramatic audio, is extremely well executed. A solid, 60 minute level definitely worth a try." - Ryan (22-Jan-2018)

"From what little I remember of the author's debut, this definitely is a step up in comparison. There still are some signs of lazy texturing here and there, and I was not that fond of the amount of backtracking involved, not to mention the few moments where you can miss crucial items, but that's also where my critique would end. Because other than that this was an all round pleasant experience on my end - the setting is nice and spooky, the texture set a nicely blended mix of the Cistern, Angel of Darkness textures and possibly some more I didn't recognize. The tasks don't really offer anything groundbreaking, but the jump sequences are quite fun, the timed run I remember had a clever twist to it, the 3 secrets I found were manegable, and the rest of the tasks ok too, even if the collection, assembly and use of the shovel could've been fine-tuned a bit more, and the potential to miss out on some items was not so great (the gem specifically, but it might have been just me being a bit hesitant to backtrack through a tedious task after deactivating the blade protecting gem) as were not the few moments when you had to backtrack. But all that is balanced out by the well made setting, the clever course and one of the most bad-ass ways I've ever seen Lara hold a shotgun in. The slow loading times were not that pleasant considering how much you can die or mess up along the way (especially the 4 rope room and the slide with the spikes and blades was a pain), but since I was not able to finish the game without it, I just accepted my fate, and it isn't that cumbersome except for the few nasty spots anyway. If you don't mind the few shortcomings and enjoy a good castle setting, don't miss out on this one!" - eTux (09-Aug-2009)

"Now here is quite a ride with an hour spent in a fairly spooky environment with some nice and colourful lighting and interesting camera work and a plethora of traps and enemies throughout that will keep you on your toes. At times you can shortcut traps by taking a health hit and some of the backtracking for the secrets is really a bit much, but other than that you just keep going on and on. The little push block puzzle was nicely done and some of the boulder trap areas are well set in scene. And at the very end you even get a boss you can (surprisingly) kill. Nice action level and definitely worth a try." - MichaelP (13-Mar-2008)

"This game starts in a large outdoor area outside the castle but majority of the game is set inside the castle. What comes to the gameplay, I found it to be rather nice but not very original. Mainly you have to solve a lot of jumping tasks, find switches and keys, fight against enemies and there's also a nice pushblock puzzle in the game. Author hasn't putted editor to its limits to create unusual and original puzzles but he has certainly managed to develop an enjoyable gameplay which is diverse enough to keep player entertained. Object placement is very nice and I liked also the gloomy atmosphere accompanied by well used camera angles. Visually this level was rather bald in my opinion but not bad looking. Room geometry is okay and lighting and textures are not bad either but the environment just doesn't have real eye candy, detailed shapes etc. which is needed for a great level. When Lara shoots, her head mesh changes which looks really weird. However, I didn't let that to affect reviewing but it would be a good idea to fix problems like that in future levels because Lara changing her head looked really odd. This level may not be anything we haven't already seen but it's definitely well constructed and worth trying out." - Samu (13-Mar-2008)

"I started this level a couple of weeks ago and quickly gave up on it when I learned that the provided executable was not patched to enable fast loading, and that the probable reason for this was that the patched version caused the game to hang up at the same place every time. Although I felt then (and still do) that the level should not have been released thus handicapped, I decided to give it a second chance. My trade-off for the slow loading times was to enable the flycheat and play while paying close attention to the walkthrough, so I could fly past as many potentially lethal spots in the level as possible (and there were many of those). I also found myself using the flycheat to save time replowing old ground with all the backtracking required in the level. But even using the flycheat and the walkthrough, it took me about an hour and a half to complete the adventure. These two major problems (slow loading times and excessive backtracking) compel me to deduct points from gameplay, although perhaps not as many as I should. Otherwise, this is a fine level that will keep you engrossed and on your toes. I can't bring myself to recommend it in its present condition, but that would change if the builder could figure out how to allow use of the accelerator patch without causing game crashes." - Phil (02-Mar-2008)

"This level was pretty basic texture-wise, but faired better in gameplay. I had fun playing the level but it had some rather annoying backtracking if you are like me and miss stuff. Plus, the level was really confusing if/when said backtracking became necessary. With all the traps there weren't nearly enough medipaks and I was pretty upset that all the quality guns were only available by finding the secrets. I could find one just fine, but I couldn't figure out how to get a gate open for the other one. There was also that recognizable flare (flares don't light until thrown) and binocular (equip them and the game crashes) bugs. This was really annoying since there were more than a few areas where these would have been helpful. The final boss was one that is not normally killable, so that was really confusing. I am not saying the level was not fun because it definitely had its fun moments, but although promising, I think there were many missed opportunities." - Shandroid (16-Feb-2008)

"Some parts of this level require you to back track a lot, so the gameplay is not very good, but even so it's a level to enjoy. A castle full of traps and enemies, you'll have enough guns and ammo (if you discover the secrets) to deal with them; and it's better you reserve some ammo to shoot the final boss. Not difficult to play, the lonely pack of flares I found was insufficient for me, although from the room with the fires where I used the shovel appears the flare bug and they are not much useful. If the level was a bit more lineal could be better." - Jose (02-Feb-2008)

"This sets a brisk pace, with lots of agility tests, traps and enemies that really drain your health. At times, it reminded me of 'Run Lara Run' (which, believe me, is a big compliment) with its unrelenting pace. Conserve medipacks as best you can, as pickups are meagre; I ended the game with just one large medi in my inventory. I found this to be a really well conceived and executed level that was hugely enjoyable - just challenging enough without being too difficult. There's a good boss ending too. Very highly recommended." - Jay (20-Jan-2008)

"No need for the EXE file so Mac players have a go at it, I said, but not matter what... with or without the EXE there are bugs in this level and I couldn't finish it. If you have courage and if you don't mind spending a small medipack, you can even get the gem that is hiding behind the knife, as I found out. The spike walls trap is easily avoided by jumping back however the rolling ball right after that is a bit of a bitch. Then after the first Vraeus the flare bugs sets in (not our normal flare bug as in here you could throw them on the floor but it still was pitch dark) that can be easily solved by anti triggering the fires in parts where Lara won't have to return to. As I was on my way to the second Vraeus, the game froze. So downloading installing and using the exe that was in the download, other bugs appeared, like going back to a saved game and Lara dies on the spot while burning to a crisp. It got so bad that I could save but nor reload.. I wonder if this level was tested at all. So I had my fill. A pity though as this was a nice level, the placements of the enemies is great, traps are good and not frustrating hard but for now I would advice the builder to iron out the bugs, as there are too many of them. When it is fixed I will play it again and of course re-write my review. I became very peeved that also my computer slowed down and I had to restart the damn thing." - Gerty (20-Jan-2008)

"A good solid adventure,this is the sort of game where progress is pretty easy provided you remember the layout of the playing area,as levers tend to open doors you passed quite some time earlier and it's imporatnt to remember the whereabouts of receptacles for key objects otherwise you'll be wandering around for ever. The interior bore little resemblance to that of an actual Castle as it simply contained rooms which were designed specifically to challenge the player (which was fun)and,with the exception of an enemy or two,were essentially bare. The atmosphere was fairly dark and gloomy,without ever being excessively so,and everything was very competantly lit and textured.Enemy placement was good,the traps were fun and reasonably challenging while never needing more than a couple of attempts to negotiate,and the adventure built to a decent Boss Finale.Playing time was around 70 minutes with comparatively little re-loading,and I reccommend it for a pleasently gothic raid." - Orbit Dream (10-Jan-2008)

"The author has surely made a step forward in the good direction with his 2nd level which has a good 1_hour duration , and we can give him the credit to have built a level with a rather spooky atmosphere. The enemies used here , bats , dead crusaders you can kill, dogs, a couple of horned demigods , plus a final boss , all work well in this inside setting with a central hub structure. Texturing is mainly from the Cistern/TombofTihocan Tr1 levels, with some newer ones. The lighting is on the dark side and the textures are stretched sometimes so there is still improvement to make with the looks, but this is a pleasant and interesting exploration which becomes a bit more demanding as you progress, with plenty of traps , plinth blades, spike balls, swinging axes , dart emitters , and spiked walls, which are rather easy to master. The plinth blades are friendly as they cost a bit of health , and there was no real need to deactivate one of them in order to pick up the gem of Eternity. I will not complain as it spared me some backtracking. Warning : you may watch out for your health as it is quite possible to reach the end without enough medipacks left. I like the fact that if you used the gem of eternity too early, that will send you to your end, also the puzzle with the fire and timed door, and some easy jump rooms. A level with some backtracking, but that remains entertaining until the end." - eRIC (06-Jan-2008)
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